So the new Rush album, “Clockwork Angels” was released today to the North American market. After work, I stopped by Cheapo CDs on Lamar to pick up a copy. After scanning the bins, I asked the guy if he had it in stock.
“No, we don’t have it, sorry.”
I laughed incredulously, “Really?”
“Yeah, it’s too expensive.”
“We only spend $300 a week on new releases. Don’t want to order too much and not have it sell — we can’t return it.”
“Man. I guess I never considered that financial aspect.”
“I’ll be ordering later this week, though, or you can try Waterloo Records.”
“Meh,” I grimaced. I usually dislike going there.
“Doesn’t matter. We’ll be closing by year’s end.”
“You act surprised. CDs are dead. We can’t afford to stay in business.”
And so it is. Another music shop going away. Encore Records already closed this spring. I heard Backspin Records closed. And now Cheapo later this year. Before long, everything but the niche and specialty stuff will be sold online either as shipped discs or as digital downloads. I prefer to have discs because the audio quality is completely lossless and I have a bauble to hold in my hands. Digital downloads are fairly cheap and rather quick, but the lossy psycho-acoustic compression makes them sound terrible, and lossless formats usually cost more. Plus there’s no standard for additional collateral like liner notes and cover images, so it’s a crapshoot what you’ll be getting in your download.
So, go there. Go now. Help ‘em out. They have stock that they’ll be needing to get rid of. When all these businesses close, what next? Who is to occupy their empty spaces? More boutique baby furniture shops?